Farm-raised catfish processed during May 2009 totaled 39.9 million pounds round weight, down 10 percent from May 2008. The average price paid to producers was 76.2 cents per pound for May 2009, down 0.1 cent from last month and 1.4 cents below a year ago.
Net pounds of processed fish sold during May 2009 totaled 18.8 million pounds, down 11 percent from the comparable month in 2008. The total end of the month inventory decreased 1 percent from last month and was down 11 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 7.17 million pounds, were down 6 percent from May 2008 and represented 38 percent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 11.7 million pounds, were down 14 percent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 62 percent of
total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 17 percent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 62 percent, and the remaining 21 percent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.
The May 2009 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.51 per pound, up 12 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.70 per pound, up 10 cents from May 2008. Prices for fresh fillets were up 13 cents from a year ago at $3.23 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.57 per pound, up 12 cents from May 2008. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were up 7 cents at $2.23 and frozen fillets at $2.98 per pound were up 10 cents from a year ago.
Freshwater imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for April 2009 totaled 8.55 million pounds, down 19 percent from the amount imported in April 2008. Imports were from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 1.36 million pounds, which were from China, Mexico, and Thailand.
Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports for April 2009 totaled 47.5 thousand pounds, with all going to Canada. Exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets reported for April 2009 totaled 12.8 thousand pounds going to Kuwait and the Netherlands.
Import and export data are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.